Never-Ending COVID: WHO Pushing Masks For Travelers

A passenger (C) receives a hug while leaving the arrival area of international flights at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, in Shanghai on January 8, 2023. - China lifted quarantine requirements for inbound travellers on January 8, ending almost three years of self-imposed isolation even as the country battles a surge in Covid cases. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • The World Health Organization recommended that countries urge passengers to wear masks on long-haul flights, given the rapid spread of the latest Omicron subvariant of COVID-19 in the United States, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Tuesday.
  • In Europe, the XBB.1.5 subvariant was detected in small but growing numbers, WHO and Europe officials said at a press briefing.
  • XBB.1.5 – the most transmissible Omicron subvariant detected so far – accounted for 27.6% of COVID-19 cases in the United States for the week ended Jan. 7, health officials have said.

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